Eoghan Harris: Fine Gael is batting on a Sticky wicket until next election
Published 06/03/2011 | 05:00
OVER 800,000 voters plumped for Enda Kenny and Fine Gael. Most of them members of the coping class who work in the private sector. They did not vote to put a Labour Party into power whose main policy, with the robust support of RTE, is to protect the public sector unions' pot of gold.
Putting Labour in charge of the public sector is like putting a pusher in charge of recovering drug addicts. In the last days leading up to the general election, Pat Rabbitte rallied the public sector to protect its right to be paid up to 30 per cent more than the private sector -- even after the levy which inflation has reduced to 6 per cent in real terms.
Much more than Gilmore, Rabbitte was the real brain behind Labour's last-minute rally. Fine Gael in general, and Michael Noonan in particular, have always found him as fascinating a fellow as it once found Vincent Browne. Five years from now they may ruefully reflect on that fatal attraction.